It's Been A While

It's been some time since I was last here. I've still been reading blogs, just not got a round to posting anything myself. We still have not finished the bedroom yet. We're still sorting stuff out and listing things on Ebay, we haven't got the bedroom furniture yet (though my old dressing table is being brought down from the loft) but we have finished painting. It took us weeks and quick a few trips for paint testers to get the shade of duck egg that we wanted. Hopefully it will be done before Christmas.
Craft wise I've been making some Christmassy decorations.

This wreath was made using a wire coat hanger and a sack cut in to strips.

These were made using Little L's collection of fir cones.

Some Christmas cushions.

Felt foxes 

and a doll have been made for Little L to give in to her school fair.
I think that's it for craft stuff. I'll have to get back to posting more regularly because I'm sure that I have missed something.

From A Dress To Apron

I've had this dress in my wardrobe for a few years now. It looked awful on me when I bought it but I'm terrible at sending my on line buys back. I knew I'd never wear it so yesterday I took my scissors to it and turned it in to an apron.

I unpicked the bodice from the skirt and both of the skirt side seams.

From one skirt piece I cut off 2.5in from the skirt fabric and lining ( this is the piece I was keeping for the front of the apron ). From the other skirt piece I cut off three 2.5in strips. These are to make the waist and neck ties. All of these pieces I sewed together, right sides facing each other, turned them and top sewed around each strip. 
I inserted the ones I was using as waist ties in to the open sides of the waist band then sewed them closed. 
I re-hemmed the skirt and lining. 
Then sewed the skirt front and lining together on the inside so there would be no raw edges showing.

With contrasting fabric I cut out pieces to make the apron top and cut two 1.5in strips from the remaining skirt fabric. 
I used a close zig zag stitch to tidy up the edges of the strips and down the centre sewed a line using a large straight stitch. I then pulled one thread on the straight stitch to turn the fabric strip in to a ruffle. 
I pinned the ruffles to one of the apron pieces then sewed them on.

I pinned the neck ties in to postition ( I didn't want mine to tie at the back of the neck so I cut one shorter than the other ) then right sides facing, sewed the two apron pieces together. 
I turned the apron pieces the right way then top sewed the edges. 
I inserted the apron top in to the top of the waist band then sewed it closed. 
I sewed two buttons on the the apron top and it was finished.

Quick Catch Up

It has been a while since my last post. We've not been away on holiday here this year but been on a few days out and hopefully we'll fit in another this weekend. 
I've been trying to keep Little L entertained with crafting and baking but she is becoming bored now and can't wait for school to start. 

Nail varnish pendants

Bread making

I did intend on decorating our bedroom over the holidays but it seems to have turned in to a mammoth job just sorting the room out before we begin. I've even discovered clothes that I have no recollection of buying (that shows how often I sort though my wardrobe). Trips have been made to charity shops and I've spent a lot of time listing things on Ebay. We still need to be more ruthless with the clearing out though.

Dentist and optician appointments have been attended to over the holidays. It was when I went to pick up my new specs that we ended up with our new family addition. The opticians had messed up my order, we had an hour to kill while they sorted it out so went to look at the animals in our local pet shop. I don't know how long the shop has been in our town but remember going in when I was little and I prefer going there rather than a large chain pet store. In that time we had fell in love with a lion head buck which we have named Leo. He's a lovely little thing but he's a bit of a nibbler. Not skin though thankfully but anything fabric, plastic or wood.

Konica Pop Camera

At the weekend I received my first set of prints taken with my Konica Pop camera.

 I'm always delighted when trying out a new camera and find it still works. The film I used was Agfa Vista Plus 200 which I bought from Poundland ( I've not seen any other camera film sold there ) When shopping for film I do usually buy 400 film but for a pound I thought it was worth a go.

These first photos were taken on a day out to Southport

and were taken at Valle Crucis Abbey in Wales.

I didn't have so much luck with the ninoka nk-700 on its first go. When the film had finished I couldn't seem to rewind it and when I opened the back of the camera the film had completely come out of the canister. The photos taken were of the Abbey so I'm glad I had taken some with the other camera. Never mind I'll try it out again another day.

Japanese Cheesecake

Today I tried out a new recipe, Japanese Cheesecake.

My cake sunk a bit in the middle even though I had let it cool slightly in the oven before I took it out. Caleb was in the house to do the taste test and it got a 'wow' from him. I tried some and I had to agree with him that it was rather nice. The cake only uses three ingredients too so not much weighing involved. The recipe that I used can be found here.

Paper Cutting

Today I had my first go at paper cutting art. The design I chose was Squirrely Valentine from Little Acorn. 

I made the mistake of not changing my blade before I began to cut and because it was abit blunt it dragged along the paper. Even though the design is simple I still found it quite tricky cutting around the acorns. 

I'm not sure if I could spent much time paper cutting as my hands were becoming quite painful when holding the knife even for something this small.
While I was searching for designs I found lots of free ones on Scherenschnitte. Some of the designs I think could also look nice as silhouette embroideries.

First Raspberries

This afternoon I remembered to go and check on my raspberries.

 The raspberry canes were given to me by my Gran a few years ago and they have now multiplied so I should get a good amount this time. The thing is that I usually forget to check them and by the time I remember the birds have eaten most of them.

I checked for ripe ones and picked a grand total of 11. I did as my Gran does and popped them in the freezer. I'm determined to beat the birds this year.

Vintage Style Underwear Sale

This is a quick spur of the moment post just in case anyone likes this kind of thing and has missed it. At the moment What Katie Did are holding a sale. I managed to buy myself some items this week which arrived the next day, beautifully packaged as always in tissue and tied with WKD ribbon along with two pin up style post cards. 

 The photo above is of the Valerie bra and knickers which I bought this week. New items have been added and I'm torn now if I should ask my hubbie while he is trying to nod off if he fancies buying me new undies. I'm sure he won't mind .. too much. Items go very fast.

Chester Mid Summer Watch Parade

After seeing the Mid Summer Watch Parade last year by chance we visited Chester yesterday especially to watch the parade again. We almost didn't make it on time as on the way we got stuck behind a heavy load vehicle which added 45 minutes to the journey but we managed to arrive just as it was beginning.

Little L still wasn't too keen on the green men or any of the other large puppets and kept hiding behind us when she knew one was getting close. There were lots of people watching again and I just wonder how busy it gets when the parade is on the Saturday. We had a good day out and the rain even stayed away until we got back home. 

Lion Embroidery

This week I've been drawing and sewing a design of a lion after I took a photo of this litter bin on our trip to Blackpool. This one is just outside the Pleasure Beach at the side of the Noah's Ark. 

While I was pressing the design on to my fabric I managed to burn the tracing paper and fabric, twice. I don't know if my iron was having a funny moment but this one was my third attempt.

The lion measures 16cm x 12cm. I used two strands of embroidery thread for the dots and outlines on the eyes and three strands of thread for the rest.

This is the pattern that I made for the embroidery.

A Trip To Blackpool

At the end of last week when my husband and I were off out gallivanting we ended up in Blackpool. We were on the motorway headed elsewhere but when we saw signs for Blackpool we had a change of plan. 

You can see people walking on the glass floor in this pic.
We quickly found a parking spot on the sea front and set off for a wander.

(This next bit is me having a moan) ... Within about 20 minutes of walking along the front, I was really peed off and was ready for home. We were constantly harassed. Being shouted to asking if we wanted a ride on a horse and carriage ( there are loads of those about ), have a go on a game, flyers being shoved at us every few minutes, beggars sitting against the litter bins and what really annoyed me was having my way blocked by a woman trying to sell me a lucky charm. All this is in the main stretch leading to some of the big attractions like Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Centre. We had to veer off down a side street just to get away from it. I can't put what my views of Blackpool were at this point because it included a lot of expletives. It certainly wasn't like this the last time I came to Blackpool but that was over 20 years ago.

After a walk around the town centre ( very busy, lots of good shops ) we headed to the sea front. This has all had a make over since I last came. It looks really tidy now, its a massive improvement.

We went on the Central and North pier then towards the Pleasure Beach. 

On the way we saw this car parked up and had to take some photos of it to show Caleb as he is car mad at the moment. I'm not in to cars myself but even I was impressed.

After grabbing a bag of doughnuts we headed for home. 
I think that we will return with Little L when the lights are switched on as it is something that she has never seen. As a day out for only myself and Anders? Maybe in another 20 years or so. 

A Cushion Re Vamp

My Mum In Law recently bought a throw which came with two plain fleece cushion covers and knowing that she'd never use them she then passed them to me. 

This weekend I added bunting to one them using fabric scraps and a length of ribbon. I'm not sure what to do with the other cover yet.

Another thing that I made using very little fabric are these small key ring pouches using this tutorial. These are handy for me when I'm nipping off for a wander along the canal when I don't want to carry a bag for my purse. I could just pop a bit of loose change in to one of these.

Our 10th Wedding Anniversary

It's ten years ago today since Anders and I were married. Ten years sounds like a pretty long time but the years have gone by so quickly, it only seems like yesterday when we met. We've not done anything to celebrate today but Anders has tomorrow off work so we might be going out for the day.
My present from Anders was this ...

an Atari 2600. Not some thing everyone would appreciate I know but he knew I've wanted one for a while. I used to love playing on ours when I was a kid. My children had a good laugh at the graphics but still wanted to try it out. I'll have to get some sneaky practice in so I can beat them.

On a sadder note we got up this morning to discover that our chickens had gone. All that remained were a couple of tail feathers from our frizzle Pekin. No feathers off the other chickens, none in the garden at all. We don't know if someone has been in our garden and taken them or a fox has had them. I found out later on this evening that chickens had disappeared from another house two nights ago. Little L is distraught that they have gone and told us earlier that she'll never be happy again. Nothing that we say at the moment seems to be taking her mind off it. Hopefully after a sleep she will feel slightly better.

Initial Embroidery

Today I finished off this initial embroidery for Little L's room. I used this hoop as a frame because when I have used it to hold fabric for embroidery it never seems to tighten enough so I spend more time messing with the hoop than actually sewing anything. 

The back needed tidying up so I glued on a circle piece of felt using a glue gun. We just need to find a suitable spot in her room for hanging now.